Time: 9:15 PM ADT
Instrument: 10" Meade SCT, 40 mm Plössl
Transparency: Excellent (1)
Seeing: Excellent (1)
Temperature: 5º C
No wind or clouds.
It's a very open but faint and diffuse cluster. I could see how it got its name while looking through the eyepiece (with a bit of imagination) but it did look more like a cross. I don't think my sketch captured the starfish appearance. To my eyes, it looked like a cross on its side. I had slewed northerly of M36 to find M38.
I had observed M38 almost 4 years ago at SCO - a night of discovery!
Having found M36 a few moments ago, I moved my binocs just a little towards the north (~ 1 FOV). M38 was very faint in the binoculars so tried the SCT - success! Still a bit faint and diffuse in the eyepiece but I could see 4 definitive bright stars. There rest of the star field was diffuse; perhaps because of the haziness closer to the horizon, the "cross" structure I had read about wasn't visible.